Indie film-maker shoots on iPhone

20:27, Sep 23 2012
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INDEPENDENT: Dan Czerwonka is making a short film on his iPhone in Wellington.

An American film-maker is proving you do not need expensive camera equipment to make films.

Dan Czerwonka, of Los Angeles, is in Wellington shooting two short films on his iPhone.

Daughters Lost, which is being filmed around the Red Rocks Reserve this weekend, tells the tale of a schizophrenic woman who believes she has lost her daughter, when in fact she is the lost daughter.

Czerwonka wrote the script, and is filming and starring in the movie, while using a predominantly Wellington-based cast and crew, including director Francesca Jago.

He also filmed a short film for the London Screenwriters' Festival, which is being held next month.

Czerwonka ran the Sydney marathon on September 16 and it was his dream to visit New Zealand so he decided it was a good opportunity to film here.


Formerly a lawyer, Czerwonka has always had a passion for acting and filmmaking, and decided he needed something to set himself apart from all the wannabe actors in Los Angeles.

"It's hard to define yourself or stand out above the crowd."

With some extra equipment, including a Canon lens and external audio recorder, his iPhone has been transformed into a film camera.

"It goes back to basics: if you've got a good story and good audio and good actors, the camera is [less important].

His first iPhone film, By Any Means, is in pre-production and he plans to release it online.

While some people thought it was gimmicky to film on an iPhone, Czerwonka said the quality was good for web or home projector viewing, and he was experimenting with filming features using the phones. "You need much bigger sweeping movements . . . like the camera movements of a big camera."

He has no budget and most of the crew were working voluntarily.

Once completed, the 12 to 15-minute film would be released online.

The Dominion Post